Kingmaker

Raining Journal 18/02/12

18th of Calistril, 4712AR

This morning we were all fairly severely hung over from the coronation ‘ceremony’. Laura insisted we begin issuing edicts, making the presence of our country known, and sending out orders for supplies for the Fochlucan Academy. By noon we had finished nearly all of the paper work and that is when the rest of us realized it. In a few hours we had spent, sent out orders with, or had other wise made spoken for nearly every gold piece of the money that we were given to start our country. Schmidtaki and Aramis were not the least bit surprised. They assured us that this was all part of the plan and that they had already explained this to us all last night.

Though we were somewhat nervous Schmidtaki and Aramis were able to put us at ease. We are scheduled to break ground on the Fochlucan Academy next week.

~Rainfall

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Raining Journal 12/02/12

12th of Calistril, 4712AR

All of our orders arrived and with them a beautiful woman, Laura Mennal Lebeda. She is a bubbly, happy, flirtatious and very intelligent woman. She came bearing a new charter for our party and many other diplomatic missives.

Be it so known that the bearers of this charter, having delivered the northern reaches of the Greenbelt from the scourge of banditry, having provided detailed maps of the lay of the land, and having done no small amount of work in the exploration of said land and the culling of hostile monsters and indigenous hazards, are hereby granted the right to rule. The nature and laws of rule are theirs to define, and the well being of this new nation is theirs to protect. In accordance for providing a stable nation to the south of central Rostland, let there be a generous stipend of funds, support, and advice provided to this fledgling nation as a token of Restov and Brevoy’s goodwill, such that future relations between kingdoms might be mutually beneficial. So witnessed under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and by the authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.

Apparently Aramis has had some previous relations with her and has responded quite coldly to her as a result of their past relationship. She has a very pleasant outgoing nature and I could only think that Aramis’ behavior must be the result of her rebuffing some inappropriate advances. She seemed to chat up all of us but I can only assume this is to be polite. I think that she has really taken a fancy to me.

The various documents were designed to help us establish proper rule over this land. They included suppliers from witch to by lumber, stone, and nearly every other mundane conceivable good. There was a ledger that detailed guilds masons, smiths, and all sort of other skilled craftsmen. There was also several treaties on leadership. This detailed the importance of and some most practical ways to interact with and rule people.

Schmidtaki and Aramis took to these documents with a great relish spending days pouring over them. In the end the Swordlord had promised us a whooping 216,000gp in supplies and services to start our new kingdom.

~Rainfall

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Raining Journal 07/02/12

7th of Calistril, 4712AR

Today was a much deserved victory lap for our party. We started by gathering up the most easily transported goods, leaving the more cumbersome and less valuable stuff for when we came back. With our prisoners hands bound and tied in tow behind our horses we made our way to Nettles Crossing. We left Akiros armed and he was allowed to follow at his leisure. There at the remnants of the bridge we threw the Stag Lord, one piece at a time, to the greedy undead creature below the frothing water. The bandits were needless to say terrified. As the two corpses vanished forever beneath the waves, we noticed a shimmering a sparkling. It was a Nettle’s ranseur and it is indeed magical.

We then headed back to the Oleg’s fort as heros, though we were not greeted as such at first. It wasn’t until we had gotten right up to the fort and Schmidtaki began waving the Stag Lord’s helmet at the guards that anyone became excited. Once inside we everyone congratulated us and hung on our every word as we described how we stormed the fort. After telling our the story a third time and many congratulatory drinks we turned over our prisoners , with exception to Akiros, over to Kesten. We would decide on weapons to be rewarded with, at a later date. We had decided to pardoned Akiros, with his only punishment to serve the people of the Greenbelt for the next year.

~Rainfall

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Raining Journal 06/02/12

6th of Calistril, 4712AR

This morning we awoke in the, ominously free of corpses, Thorn River Camp. Having behead almost all of these vagabonds myself, I am very leery of meeting these corpses again. We did not tarry in that grim camp longer than we had to, making our way back to Oleg’s. As we traveled Mitchel flipped through books of sheet music.

We rode into Oleg’s trading post perhaps a little more triumphantly than we should have. We were greeted by the cheers of our friends. Then when we relieved the heads of the black tatzlwyrms much to the chagrin and disbelief of everyone in the fort.

Schmidtaki, "Ta DAaaaa! There you go Oleg, we got you that tatzlwyrm head you wanted. And not just one but two of ‘em. Have you ever seen black one? I haven’t you should probably get us a little extra for these after all they are especial. "
Oleg, “Um ok. Ya, sure. But didn’t you say you were going to take care of the Stag Lord yesterday. You know avenge the guard that died, burned Bokken’s hut to the ground, and nearly did the same.”
Schmidtaki, “What? No, wait…”
Bokken, “They burned everything.”
Schmidtaki, "Ya you keep saying that buddy. You should probably find something else to talk about, it’s called the art of conversation. And as for the Stag Lord, no. I thought I made that clear, we said that we would take care of the mites at the old sycamore then hunt you down a tatzlwyrm. Today is Stag Lord.
Oleg, “No. I distinctly remember you saying that you were going to tackle the Stag Lord yesterday. Plus he seems like more of a priority as far as problems go.”
Schmidtaki, “Well ya I wanted to but Rainfall over there wouldn’t let up about the mites. So we had to put that off for today.”
Rainfall,“Wait what?”
Schmidtaki, “Yesterday mites and tatzlwyrm. Today Stag Lord.”
Rainfall," The mites took like no time and…"
Schmidtaki, “See, he couldn’t be reasoned with. We had to put it off for today. But don’t worry today is the day we take this Stag Lord down. You know if you guys would just recognizing me a the leader of this expedition we wouldn’t have this problem.”
Aramis, "Woo ho ho. There will be no usurping of my position on my watch. Lest I remind you of my charter.
Schmidtaki, “Ya but a mite bon fire and tatzlwyrm hunt did happen on your watch. Just sayin’ priorities. These guys can you believe them Oleg.”
Oleg, “Ya you guys are arse holes.”
Mitchel, “Hey there Oleg I wanna place an order for magical sheet music. What do ya say ol’ buddy.”
Oleg,“Fine come on in lets get this over with so hopefully you can get back to SAVING OUR LIVES!”
Schmidtaki, “Hey Oleg, we gotta talk reward for these heads its gotta be like double. After all it is double the head.”

As Schmidtaki and Mitchel pursued Oleg into his shop the rest of our friends turns away from us disappointed. Mitchel placed his order for songs of Solid Note and Sleep, they should arrive on the 19th of Calistril. Schimidtaki argued with Oleg for a better reward while Mitchel placed his order. Oleg succumbed to Schmidtaki’s persevering argument and in the end nearly got double the listed reward. We left the fort with its inhabitants a little frustrated with us. One of the guards jeered us as we rode through the gates, “Stag Lord today, right?”

We rode through out the day and through heavy snow to finder ourselves at the on the outskirts of the Stag Lord fort well after nightfall. We decided to hunker down in a small grove of pine trees. There as the snow fell, we began to formulate our plan of attack.

Rainfall," Ok gentlemen, how are we going to do this?"
Aramis, “You know I think much better on after a drink and I could really use something to warm me up.”
Mitchel, “I could whip you something up. If only we had a cup.”
Rainfall, “Aren’t we in the possession of a rather fine pewter mug?”
Mitchel waving his fingers above the mug and it filled to the brim with red wine, “Ah Yes, Here it is and here you go Aramis.”
Aramis took a deep drink of the magic beverage and promptly spit it out, “Until you can conjure something worth drinking, stop offering me this swill.”

The clamor of horses broke up our discussion. They passed close to us but did not notice us. We watched them make there way to the fort and enter it.

Schmidtaki, “Ok boys, drinking aside we need a plan. There not just going to open the doors for us.”
Rainfall, " We do have cloths from the various bandits that we’ve fought, and most of them are not even bloodstained. And don’t we have their password."
Aramis, "Ya it goes something like ‘By the Bloody Bones of St. Gilmorg, who wants to know?’ "
Schmidtaki, “Ya but that leaves us at the whims of bandits. Plus that’s at least a week old. If they’ve changed it were screwed.”
Mitchel, “Then what should we do?”
Schmidtaki, “I can get in there no problem. Open the gates then you run in there and we take these bastards down.”
Rainfall, “And lets not forget about those undead, I am not looking forward to revisiting the criminals that I’ve beheaded.”
Schmidtaki, “Won’t matter. The corpses will never see me coming. No one will. Get as close to the gate as you can without being seen. The snow will help.”
Aramis, “And how long are we supposed wait for you?”
Schmidtaki, “Five minutes, tops.”
Aramis, “What will be the signal if your in trouble?”
Schmidtaki, “Don’t need a signal for trouble, I am trouble.”
Aramis, “Uh so we can of course get them down fast, cause we’re bringing all these guys, I mean, we’ll be in trouble if we don’t take them down quick.”
Rainfall, “Uhh I think this is a pretty good plan, we should be able to pull it off. What do you think Mitchel? Can you give me a number crunch real quick?”
Mitchel, “Uhhh.. yeah gimme a sec… I’m coming up with thirty-two point three three, repeating of course, percentage, of survival.”
Aramis, “That’s a lot better than we usually do, uhh, alright, you think we’re ready guys?”
Schmidtaki, “All right chums, Guns up! Let’s do this! LEEROOOOOOOY JEEENKIIIIIINSSS.”
Rainfall, “(incredulous) … Oh my God he just ran in.”

Schmidtaki vanished and all we could see is a trail of foot prints in the snow. We watched the flickering lights of the fort nervously. We watched and waited for any sign or signal. After a few minutes, we noticed a rope on the wall of the and began wondering how long it had been there. The minutes passed like hours and our nerves began to get the better of us. It could have been ten minutes or ten hours when we finally decided that we decided to brake from the plan and make a run for the gate.

Together we charged the gate. Mitchel lead the charge but I quickly over took him. As we got closer I could see the gate shutter violently. It opened slightly then slammed shut again as we all made it to the gate. Mitchel panted out of breath, “Why does it sound like pegs coming loose while attempting to open a heavy gate?” At that moment it flew open again just long enough for Arimis to power slide forward on his knees while leaning backward. I then scaled the palisades and jumped down into the fort. No sooner did I hop the fence did Schmidtaki open the gate one final time and wedge it open.

The fort erupted in chaos as the bandits rushed to defend themselves. In the noise I could pick out a an angry sort of hooting but I could not readily identify. At one side Schmidtaki was manning the wheel that opens portcullis, at the other bandits were shooting arrows at us, and in front of us was an open building filled with more bandits. Schmidtaki then ignited the entrance to the central building.

Making our way across the flaming threshold, we fought our way in the partially ruined building to interrupting a heated game of poker. Inside I could make out a portcullis set into the West wall, the East wall was partially missing, and to the South there was another room. The only thing about the common thugs inside that proved a challenge was their numbers. We carved through rogues one by one but they did have a few tricks up their sleeves.

First a hunched backed lummox of a man lumbered the room, to joined the fray swinging his club. Following behind him was a dark, tattooed figure with an obvious taste for pain and cruelty. He walked across the room and pulled a lever. The portcullis fell forward dramatically as the tattooed figure walked back across the room without looking back. A large owlbear emerged from behind the portcullis and began attacking the nearest targets, which at this time was us.

Chet took this moment to triumphantly jumped across the fire in the entrance while screaming, “No one tosses a dwarf!” He then chant vigorously in Terran and a small rocky human emerged from the earth to fight for us. Aramis and Schmidtaki began to battle the owlbear. Even in the heat of the battle Aramis found a moment to jab at Chet, “Hey Chet you know you could have just walked around the fire, right?” Geronimo III joined the others in fighting the great beast only to miss. Mitchel would not have this and threw a handful of snake scales at his companion. Geronimo immediately attacked again and to our amazement he tripped the owlbear. The owlbear did not last long after that.

As the owlbear was being dispatched a badger appeared and it spewed forth a cloud of spiders that enveloped Schmidtaki. Crawling with spiders Schmidtaki managed to keep himself from vomiting, but began to succumb to dozens of dozens of tiny venomous spider bites.

Mitchel and I hung back defending our collective rear from the bandits. Mitchel clasped his hands around an imaginary ball in front of him, rolled his hands around it, and a ball of flames burst into existence. The burning sphere attacked the bandits in front of him. Meanwhile I took my time tripping bandits one at a time and taking the opportunity to stomp them on the ground.

As the fight went on the hunchbacked man was brought down and a moment later the tattooed figure dragged him off. Pouring a potion into his mouth the beast of a man was revived. The two of them turned to returned to the fray as the badger spat balls of acid at us all. Behind tbem emerged a man dressed in a chain mail and a scar over his right eye. The man strode towards the tattooed man.

Tattooed figure, “Akiros, GOD DAMN IT. What are you doing? Help us.”
Akiros then attacked the tattooed figure wordlessly.
Now bleeding the tattooed figure said, “What the fuck are you doing?”
Akiros tore off his stag amulet, throws it in the face of the tattooed figure, and attacks again.
Mitchell, “Oh ho HO!!!! He’s off the Heroine!!! GALANOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

It was not long before the tattooed figure, the brute, and the magical badger were all defeated. A moment later The earth elemental crumbled to dust and Chet mourned him saying, “Earth elemental 611 we hardly knew yee but what a fighter he was!” The battle seemed to be going our way but we were still being peppered by arrows from behind. It was at this moment that the horned demon, the Stag Lord, struck us. His arrows pierced our defenses with uncanny accuracy, striking us in ways we could not defend.

Mitchel then yelled out to the Stag Lord, “Nice bow, jerk! Lets see how you do without it.” Pulling out a stick he chanted in a strange language, he bent and twisted the branch. The Stag Lord’s bow twisted and bent nearly breaking. The branch snapped in Mitchel’s hands and the Stag Lord’s bow snapped back to its original shape. Mitchel was disappointed to see the bow was unharmed. All the while I continued to face off against the archers near the entrance of the fort.

Determined not to suffer from the Stag Lord’s deadly aim, our party charged him. Pushing him back into his den, he shot as he retreated. When he ran out of room to retreat he tumbled through us as our group attacked him in concert. Aramis bravely fought on despite being badly wounded by the Stag Lord’s precise arrows. Schmidtaki just as badly wounded, though he was nowhere to be found. The Stag Lord, free from his den began fighting his way back towards the exit of the fort.

The Stag Lord did not leave the fort, instead he rounded and with a devilish grin he continuing to rain arrows upon us. It was at this moment that Schmidtaki appeared before the Stag Lord and struck him with frightening speed. With one blow he lopped off the Stag Lords arm, disemboweled him with a second blow, and finished by chopping off the man’s head. The Stag Lord all but exploded in a shower of blood. Chet then shouted, “Kill Steal! IN THE FACE!” The remaining bandits collapsed to their knees and terrified of the man, now soaked in the blood of their leader, who appeared out of nowhere to kill their master.

With that the battle was won. The remaining bandits and Akiros surrendered themselves to us. Among the prisoners was Falgrim Sneeg, the man wanted by Kesten. Alive he would fetch us four masterworked weapons. Akiros requested that he be pardoned for his part in banditry for aiding us in the attack against the Stag Lord and his continued help in undoing the damage. He showed us where all the goods and treasures were hidden around the fort. Taking inventory of the fort would take Schmidtaki the next couple of hours, much to his delight.

~Rainfall

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Raining Journal 05/02/12

5th of Calistril, 4712AR

Today we set out for the lair of the mites. Mitchel tied a small pulley to our pack horse and enchanted it. This magic allowed us to lash the barrel of oil to the back of the horse without breaking the horse’s back.

Arriving at the base of the tree we could hear the mischievous fey sing and hurt each other, “Next time you’re feeling blue just let a smile begin….. Happy things will come to you… La la la-la la la.” We quickly got the barrel off the horse. I personally kicked over the barrel and the oil splashed down into the mites’ den. We could hear their confused voices coming from inside. I pulled an alchemist fire out of my pack and chucked it into the hole. The hole was burst into flames almost instantly. I rolled the now empty barrel into the hole as a few flaming mites jumped out of the hole screaming. Aramis relished the chance to put the flaming little blue creatures out of their misery. We had and early brunch by the flames of the sycamore tree and we left shortly before the tree collapsed.

Snow began to fall and we began to make our way towards the Stag Lords Keep. We started heading towards in that direction but Geronimo kept wanting us to go a different course.

Finally Schmidtaki asked the leopard, “What is it Lassy? Is Timmy trapped in a well?”
Geronimo croaked out a, “nOoo.”
Schmidtaki, “Hmm, no Timmy but you want us to go that way huh?”
Geronimo, “yESs.”
Schmidtaki, “Well than what is it a tatzlwyrm?”
Geronimo, “yESs.”
Schmidtaki, “Reeeally. Hey guys who’s up for a quick hunt?”

After several minutes of going back and forth between all of us, Schmidtaki convinced us that it would be a good idea to postpone attacking the Stag Lords for to go on a tatzlwyrm hunt. This flew in the face of ligic and several other good arguments, but in the end Schmidtaki’s persistence won the day.

Geronimo had trouble tracking the tatzlwyrm because of the falling snow and the fact that the tracks seemed to disappear several times. It was a miricle that he was able to track it at all. We came upon three different separate kills. At each site Mitchel was unable to tell where the wyrm started it ambush. Each site was bloodstained and the ground marked by deep tracks made by some sort of giant snake. Mitchel was able to tell us that the tatzlwyrm was especially large. Despite losing the trail several times we were able to keep up with the beast because all of the tracks were heading due West.

Eventually we came upon a natural ford in the river. The ford was half frozen and a natural island formed from debris was in its center. We approached quietly and could spot steamy fog coming from an opening in the debris. Tying up our horses we crept across the icy ford to surround the opening. Aramis and Schmidtaki began making there way into the den as the rest of us perched above the opening.

The moment they entered the tatzlwyrm den the air was filled with terrible trashing and the roar of the dragon. Moments later a stream of hissing black acid poured out of the den. It was difficult to tell how things were going inside the cave until our allies called out for Chet’s healing. The little dwarf jumped down onto the ice in front of the opening, slipped, and stumbled briefly. Standing in the opening he plunged his hands into the den to heal our friends.

We jockeyed to file into the den when we heard another roar. This time it came from the sky. It was another tatzlwyrm. The black silhouette of the winged serpentine dragon emerged from the snowy sky. It swooped down to attack as it flew by again and again. It then carefully positioned itself to unleash an stream of black acid. At this moment Chet held out his holy symbol and let out a furious prayer, it’s refrain stunned the mighty wyrm. Writhing in agony it plummeted to the ground. Thanks to Chet’s timely prayer we were able to take the dragon down quickly.

After a moment Aramis and Schmidtaki emerged from the den pulling out a second tatzlwyrm corpse. Both of these wyrms were of a rare and unusual bread. Their scales were jet black instead of the usual emerald. They were also both winged. After a short inspection by Mitchel we determined that they were a mated pair. Remembering the bounty that Oleg placed on interesting tatzlwyrms heads we beheaded the snakes and packed up the skulls.

Though difficult to spot in the powerful, churning currents, we spotted the skeletal remains of a long-dead explorer wedged in the debris. The unfortunate human was still wearing an exceptional suit of scale mail and its one remaining bony hand is a masterwork cold iron longsword. Both armor and sword were made in tiger motif. Below the skeleton within a rotting leather backpack we found coins, a pewter drinking stein, and a jade carving of a nude female monk and a map in a watertight case. The map showed us several locations that we had already been like the temple of the elk but it also showed another location marked statue of the elk.

Mitchel was very interested in the pewter stein but not nearly as interested as he was in the soiled back pack that all the loot was in. He spent several minutes examining and relishing the not so fine craftsmanship of the half rotten and very average back pack. Schmidtaki took the nude elf statue saying that he would have to investigate it further for clues to the history of the stolen lands. Somehow I doubt this.

We after thoroughly searching the ford for any treasure we decided that we should find a way to make camp for the night. Both I and Mitchel believed we could make it to the Thorn River camp before sun down and we convinced the rest to go there. We arrived at the camp just as the sun set.

The had clearly been disturbed since last we had been here. The camp was covered in the tracks of at least a dozen boot prints. There were also prints from two or three horses. Lastly the corpses that we had piled onto the fire place were now missing. They appear to have been dragged off. We all took a easy guess at where the drag trail would end up. This night we took extra care in camping.

~Rainfall

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Raining Journal 04/02/12

4th of Calistril, 4712AR

Today we were glad to have a boring peaceful day. It gave us a chance to fully recuperate from blood loss and poisons of the Sycamore mites. Through out the day I found that the red sores were starting to clear up. Mitchel, Chet, and Jhod did there best to try and help treat this disease.

The rest of the day was spent continuing to help repair the trading post. By the end of the day the fort was in much better shape.

Mitchel split his time working on another suit of armor and reading books to Geronimo III. At the end of the day he held up the armor.

Mitchel proclaimed proudly, “Bird armor. Light flexible and if I can get the coating right it will be nearly invisible to radar!”
Chet shook his head, “Well start flapping your wings and GROW A BEARD ALREADY!”

Later that night Mitchel was reading the book of nursery rhymes to Geronimo III paused every time there was a no, yes, or the word danger. I was skeptical at first but Geronimo was able to growl and meow our a pretty good yes and no. It was very funny to hear him purr out the word danger.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 03/02/12

3nd of Calistril, 4712AR

Sleeping was difficult last night the wounds that the giant tick inflicted on me were healed by magic but they ached terribly through out the night. Today I was the last to get up. I and stumbled up to the mirror in the guest house. I was incredibly pale and the aching bruises around my waist were sore and warm with infection.

I staggered outside to Aramis helping Svetlana dole out scrambled eggs to Jhod and Chet. Mitchel was busy removing Geronimo II’s armor, petting the cat, and saying their goodbyes to each other. Mitchel paused briefly to say, “Wow. Rainfall, you look like shit. You should probably go see Jhod about that.” Geronimo, agreeing, let out a strange meowed or roar that almost sounded like, “Ya.” Mitchel and Geronimo shared one last beer together before Geronimo headed off into the wilderness.

At the other table sat Schmidtaki, Oleg, and Bokken. Schmidtaki had a ledger with our current supplies and he was quizzing the distraught Oleg and Bokken about there current stocks.

Schmidtaki, “So lets see what kind of armor do you have again.”
Oleg, “Leather, studded leather, a couple of chain. No I don’t have any Mithral in stock.”
Schmidtaki, “Hey hey. Rainfall, you look like shit. You should see Jhod when you get a chance. Hey Jhod, when your done eating can you take care of Rainfall? So Rainfall, you wanted something right?”
I coughed a couple of times, “Lamp oil.”
Schmidtaki, “Ya, that’s right. So how much lamp oil do you have on hand right now?”
Oleg, “I have a hand full of pints and a full barrel of it. How much do you need?”
Schmidtaki, “Wait how many pints are in a barrel?”
Oleg, “250 pints.”
Schmidtaki, “We’ll take it. Now do you have a cart we could buy?”
Oleg pointed to a pile of ashes next to the larger pile of ashes of the barn, “Used to.”
Mitchel, “I want a flute, emblazoned with carving of a lion on it. To commemorate Geronimo II.”
Oleg, “I told you last time that I don’t deal in instruments but I know a guy in Restov. I’ll put it on the order with the silver holy symbol. It should arrive on the 12th of Calistril.”
Schmidtaki, “So I am going to go on a limb here. Do you have a galley?”
Oleg, “What like a ship?”
Schmidtaki, “Yea.”
Oleg, “No.”
Schmidtaki, “Long boat?”
Oleg, “Nope.”
Schmidtaki, “Catamaran?”
Oleg, “Oh, let me check. No.”
Schmidtaki, “Wow, well I am sensing some hostility. Ok lets switch to potions. Feel free to pipe up Bokken.”
Bokken, “They burned everything.”
Schmidtaki, “Yes you’ve been saying that for a while now. Cure light wounds.”
Oleg, “I’ve got a couple.”
Bokken said with a glazed and distant look, “Me too……”
Schmidtaki, “We’ll take ’em. See now were getting somewhere.” They went on like this for quite some time.

After breakfast Jhod spent prayed for my and laid his hands upon me. As he spoke the holy words of Erastil I could feel my strength return to me. The rest of this day was spent patching up the trading post. The day was far from uneventful. Mitchel made sure of that.

He gathered up roots, twigs, berries from around the area surrounding the fort. Arranged them carefully in a circle and lighting a few of the twigs on fire. He then spent the next couple of hours sulking about the fort as the rest of it tried help with repairs. As we worked he would pick one us out and stalk us while meowing and purring. He then carefully and I thought comically, picked a moment to pounce on us or to paw at our legs as we passed by.

I can tell you this there are few things funnier in this world than a beardless dwarf trying to sneak up on you while acting like some sort of cat. After about an hour of this a snow leopard showed up at the front gates, pawing to be let in. Mitchel rushed to let the cat in. He then hugged the new cat, who was somewhat uncomfortable about the whole thing. “You will be Geronimo III. Good news a full 50% of my animal friends are still alive to date. Now lets get you into some armor and teach you to talk!” The cat reluctantly meowed.

My warm aching sores were getting worse so I decided to show it to Jhod. This was interesting experience as no sooner did I show the healer the infection, than did all the rest of my friends take notice.

Aramis, “What is that? That doesn’t look right.”
Schmidtaki appearing out of nowhere as he usually does, “You know you can’t just go sticking your thing anywhere, you get diseases that way.”
Aramis, “You have got to be careful of which giant insects you sleep with.”
Jhod, “I don’t have the power to heal this through prayer. I suggest you get a lot of rest.”
Mitchel, “You should wrap it up your sores in bandages soaked in vinegar and water.”
Chet, “I think we have a cream for that in the healers kit.”
Mitchel, “I think that cream is for fungus.”
Chet, “Couldn’t hurt. Besides what do you know Beardless?”

It was a bit humiliating to have them all poking, prodding, and laughing at my sickness but even I found it a little funny in the end. I don’t know if all there advice and help, helped or hurt me in the end.

Around noon a merchant arrived with our horse order. We effectively traded our horses for war horses, they will be less spooky in the face of danger and combat.

There was one more interesting note to finish today. Mitchel was reading fairy tales to his new companion, the newly dubbed Geronimo III. He took special care to emphasize the words yes, no, and danger.

Rainfall

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Vistretta and Galano - The Search Continues - L1

Everyone else is writing something on something, Rainfall and Schmiditaki are over there writing novellas so I’m going to write on this giant oak leaf!

I found a rock today with some chalk under it, I believe this is the next big key to finding Vistretta and Galano. My party is of sound mind, except Chet who apparently likes to clean a lot. He’s become a successful soapsmither and healer, although I wish he’d taken up cooking, so hungry and confused…oh! Well Aramis can’t be touched, people fall down around Rainfall a lot, and

Flips Leaf

Schmiditaki has a knack for decapitation, I like it all! I will miss Geronimo II, he’s was a solid trooper, his help towards finding Vistretta’s links to the lousy heroine will not be forgotten, hence why my new piccolo has him inscribed on it in vivid detail. Anyway, about my friends, I do believe they will help me find Vistretta and Galano…in time. I welcome my new companion Geronimo III, he seems strong and capable!

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Ninja Diaries Entry One (Battle of the Mites)

It was midday when we arrived at the giant Sycamore tree, its branches stretched out long and gnarled setting a very ominous picture even in the light of day. This was definitely the tree the Kobold leader Sootscale had told me about and it wasn’t long before we found the hole which led into the mite’s lair. Tying the horses up just outside and leaving Geronimo “That’s pronounced Her – On – Eh – Mo” back to guard the horses in the case mites should threaten them, we proceeded to enter the hole one at a time.

As I entered the small room below I could already hear the sounds of combat, there was plenty of giggling followed by the sounds of frustration from my companions as they began to clash with the small creatures but found that the low ceiling and cramped space made swinging a weapon to be very difficult. I also found this to be a problem as I begin to engage one of the mites; the creature dodged my attack and proceeded down a passage straight ahead of me which looked to proceed down deeper under the great Sycamore.

Following the mite down deeper into his lair I did my best to keep to the shadows watching the poor mite as it ran off toward a small group of its brethren and a rather good sized centipede about the size of a human in length. I saw my chance and instinctually produced an arrow notching it as I drew the string back. Aiming was not an issue, this mite had its back to me, was running in a straight line screaming and flailing its little arms about and attempting to get the attention of its comrades; As its comrades began to notice I loosed the string and the sound of my arrow striking the back of the mites head produced a loud crunching sound as its feeble skull collapsed under the force of the impact. Its lifeless body hit the ground with a thud and slid toward its brethren ceasing its forward motion directly in front of them. The mites had a look of shock and disbelief on their faces as they watched the lifeless and bloodied body of their fallen comrade slide to a stop in front of them.

It was then I heard the sound of someone rustling through the passage behind me, I looked back to see Aramis coming down to join me, while I was appreciative of the extra help I was still very weary of this new member to our illustrious party and decided it would be best to let him take the front. At the same time he motioned to me wanting to pass, without hesitation I squeezed myself against the side of the passage and he took up position in front of me. I thought this rather amusing considering when we first met, I snuck up behind him to greet him as most ninja’s do and he proceeded to go on and on about how I like to give it to people from behind, him now being in front willingly was either a sign of trust or a gesture that maybe he likes it from behind. As the mites began to prepare for battle and the large centipede began its trek toward us these thoughts quickly vanished from my head. It was then I began to notice this large section of ground and ceiling that seemed to be moving ahead of the large centipede. Knowing this couldn’t be a good sign I yelled to Aramis to watch out!

It was too late. The swarm was upon him he was now covered from head to toe in a swarm of nasty centipedes. He yelled “Oh gods! There everywhere. There in my hair! Please it’s hideous, kill it with fire! “. I didn’t hesitate for I knew there was only one solution to this situation. I quickly produced an Alchemist Fire and threw it at Aramis covering him in a lake of fire as we began to move back up the passage toward the first chamber. He screamed in pain and earned some of my respect for taking it like a man and not crying like some sissy nobleman trying to play solider. As soon as Aramis could manage he also produced an Alchemist Fire and doused himself in it earning even more respect from this seasoned assassin who has seen plenty of hardened veterans give up in situations such as these crying for mother and home. At this point the swarm was now nothing but a bunch of charred husks lying all about the upper chamber and Aramis was still covered in flame, he instinctually dropped to the ground and began rolling around trying to put the fire out. In doing so he covered himself in caltrops that happened to be littering the whole upper level. I could hear the sigh and sound of relief from him as the final flame went out, he was now quite hurt, burned and bloodied, I produced a potion of water I retrieved from a sacred pool at a temple we cleansed of evil earlier that week and tossed it too him hoping that it would cure him of any poison or ailments he may have suffered at the pincers of that swarm. I then proceeded back down the passage alone.

As I entered the large chamber I found that the mites that remained began retreating down another passage at the back of the chamber. I began to chase after them. Entering the second passage I couldn’t find many places to hide as the passage quickly opened up to another chamber packed from wall to wall with mites, there must have been at least 12 of them in this tiny area, I was quickly overwhelmed by a hail of darts all of which either missed me or bounced off me with no ill effect. I could hear at this point the screams of Rainfall from within the chamber ahead “Oh Gods it’s draining me by the pint!” Not knowing what kind of evil was causing our rather stout monk to cry out in fear was very disturbing but I knew I had to press on to help my comrade. As I began to wade into the lake of mites I noticed that this chamber had extra vines and roots sticking out of it making it very difficult to connect my swords with the tiny creatures. As I continued to wade into them Aramis showed up and did the same, it was then that we heard a loud clattering noise, and saw a 2 large glowing eyes appear from down the end of the chamber. It was a Giant Centipede and its fangs seemed to glow red hot.

Aramis shouted “What the hell is that thing?” as I let loose an arrow, piercing its hide, but all that did was anger the giant. It reared back and launched a flame from its mouth toward me. I jumped clear and watched as the ball of flame melted the dirt and rock beneath it. I moved to the back of the chamber and began to prepare for my next shot. Aramis pushed through the group of mites knocking many of them out of his way and skewering a few. He now stood face to face with the giant centipede. The fearless nature of our new companion impressed me, he was not only face to face with a giant flame shooting centipede but also surrounded by an army of mites. I saw a chance and immediately sniped one of the mites dead with my bow as Aramis engaged the beast!

Lunging forward Aramis attempted to pierce the giant with his rapier but at the last moment the large centipede showed its agility and moved clear of the blow, returning a blow of its own sinking its fangs into Aramis as he let out a rather loud cry. Aramis was clearly staggered by this blow he didn’t seem to be expecting such a big beast to be able to dodge his attack as well as deliver such a devastating blow at the same time. It was then that Chet came charging into the chamber sprinting as fast as his little dwarf legs would carry him, seeing his companion in danger he charged head first into the sea of mites and began to do his best to stabilize Aramis. I began letting loose arrows at the beast but to no effect the beast was still ravaging Aramis every chance it got and it didn’t seem to be slowing down. Even with the combined efforts of Mitchell and Chet, Aramis knew he couldn’t continue to stand toe to toe with this giant and he ordered a retreat. It was then that Mitchell’s companion Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” showed up. Mitchell ordered the cat to cover our retreat which it did without hesitation.

Entering the chamber I had just come from I noticed a giant tick with a mite riding on it come from the upper chamber. I also saw the look of fear and dread on Rainfall’s face, he began to retreat for the upper chamber as I charged the tick attacking it with everything I had. It latched onto me and drained me of some of my blood, I immediately began to feel a bit more sluggish as it did this and I knew it was going to be some time before I would recover from this ailment. In seeing my predicament Rainfall’s demeanor changed and he instead charged the tick laying into it with everything he had, Aramis joined in as soon as he made it back up the passage and the tick was down within mere seconds, the rider followed shortly there after. During this time we could hear the growls of Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” and the loud screech of the giant centipede as it was barraged by the large cat. Impressively this went on for a good 30 seconds before we heard a low growl followed by giggling from the mites as what sounded like Geronimo’s that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” body slumping to the floor of the cavern.

Glancing at Aramis we knew what we had to do. Approaching the opening of the passage I hid in the shadows preparing for the Giant to make its appearance. I didn’t have to wait long, the clattering of spike like legs against the chambers passage soon produced the head of the giant centipede followed shortly by the rest of its body, it began to move past me unaware of my presence charging straight for Aramis. It was then I saw my opening, I stepped from the shadows catching the beast completely off guard, My first blade struck true, going in one side of its body and out the other as it moved past causing many internal injuries. I swung with my second blade and impaled the creature once more. The centipede screeched in pain and began to turn its head toward me. I knew it was now or never and channeling my Ki I pulled my first sword out of its body and struck with all my might nearly severing its head from its body. At that point there was no screech it was almost as if the whole cavern went silent as the giant’s carcass fell to the ground causing a small quake and much of the loose dirt above us to rain down on the party.

As a group we we’re able to clear the passage of the giant centipede by dragging it through the rest of the way and into the chamber. Worried about Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” and with the passage clear we began our decent back down into the bowels of the mite’s lair. We began wadding into the army of mites, who where still attempting to harm us with their little daggers no larger then a pin in size. Every once in a while they would get a good jab in that would pierce skin but mostly they where just a nuisance. While Aramis and I dealt with most of the mites, Chet and Mitchell proceeded to aid our fallen Cat. Shortly after reviving Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” out of the passage that the centipede had appeared, now appeared a human sized mite with a white beard and a creature covered in dark rags. At that moment two things happened, the room filled with a mass of webs and then it went dark, completely absent of all light. Even as an elf I was unable to make out anything not even my own hands in this darkness. Somehow I managed to dodge the majority of webbing and blindly finished off the mite in front of me, I decided to push forward in the direction I believed to be forward.

My eyes needed a second to adjust and they did as I moved clear of the darkened area and were able to see again. I saw the chief mite and his dark companion next to him starring at me in shock, surprised that their spells hadn’t stopped me, the chief took a swing at me with his flaming club which I expertly dodged at the same time plunging both of my swords into the creature in dark rags. It let out a groan as it slumped to the ground dead. At this point Aramis came charging out of the blackness that was now dissipating and slammed into the chief mite pinning him against the wall. Between me impaling the chief from side to side, and Aramis sticking his rapier up its nose, the chief fell quickly and the mite lair fell silent absent the screams and sound of the remaining mites scurrying for the surface and escape from this now tomb. It was time for rest and everyone was in dire need of it. Aramis and I nodded at each other in respect for each others skills and determination and the rest as they say, is history.

-Schmidtaki

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Raining Journal 02/02/4712

2nd of Calistril, 4712AR

Today was intense to say the least. Even as I write this journal entry I can barely keep my eyes open but I need to get this all down before I forget any of it.

This morning Aramis was making breakfast over light conversation with our kobold friend. This included the topics of branding and the decision of whether to turn him into boot or gloves. Eventually he came to the conclusion that a younger kobolds would be needed for the suppleness that he demanded. I noticed that a handful of the kobold’s scales have been burned. Schmidtaki told me that our kobold friend had agreed to take us to his clan. On the ride back to the kobold camp Schmidtaki and Aramis ended up talking about the kobold.

Schmidtaki, “So he said that there were something like 300 kobolds back at his camp.”
Aramis, “Yup.”
Schmidtaki, “And we… Uh and by we, I mean you, spent the better part of the night threatening to turn him into gloves and burning his scales with a hot knife.”
Aramis, "Well I believe your miss representing things a bit. First off it was boots, he’s entirely too old and rough for gloves. Second, the little vagabond was stealing from us, that makes him bandit and…
Schmidtaki, “And now we are just going to walk into his camp.”
Aramis, “Yes…”
Aramis, “Wait, oh. Hold on a second.”

Aramis then rode up next to the kobold who was tied up on our pack horse.
Aramis, “So um, kobold what was your name again?”
Moretek, “You never ask name, just burn me.”
Aramis, “Yes, yes, and there will be plenty more burning if you don’t give me you name.”
Moretek, “Moretek.”
Aramis, “So Moretek, exactly how far are we from your camp.”
Moretek, “It is Sootscale Clan. And we just almost there. Just to South of here, maybe one more hour.”
Aramis pointed, “Just to the South. Straight this way.”
Moretek, “No no, this way.” He pointed just a little to the right as Aramis hung back a bit, pulled out his rapier.
Aramis flexing and examined it, “Oh perfect. Then we don’t need to you any more.” Aramis skewered Moretek, killing him. Schmidtaki then rode up next to him.
Aramis, “So it seems that noble friend Moretek was slain by some evil bandits.”
Schmidtaki plugning his own blade into the kobold quickly wiped it off, " Yes and his dying wish was to be brought to back to his clan. Oh and don’t forget to wipe your blade off."
Aramis, “A shame we couldn’t save him in time.”

I was a little horrified at the actions of my comrades. Though I can’t complain too much as our entire campaign to pacify these lands have been pretty brutal. Not the least of which is my propensity for collecting skulls as an example to the other bandits.

True to the kobolds word we arrived at the Sootscale camp. The plains became rocky and sandy and there was a large rocky crag jutting out of the ground. The craggy outcropping loomed over us as we approached. The frozen ground covered in countless kobold tracks and dotted by snow covered piles of dirt and broken rock. In the distance we could see the little lizards scurrying from mound to mound keeping an eye one us. We spotted a cave opening that they seemed be heading to. As we approached it a single kobold ran out towards us waving his hands. He looked carefully at the ground, stood his ground and called out to us.

Kobold, “YOU STAY THERE. WHAT YOU WANT.”
Aramis, “We are here to return one of your fallen warriors.”
Kobold, “YOU KILL SOOTSCALES?!”
Schmidtaki, “No it was bandits.”
Kobold, "Bandits? We have truce… Why you bring us dead sootscale?
Aramis, “Wait, you have a truce with the Stag Lord?”
Kobold, “YOU ANSWER QUESTION.”
Schmidtaki, “He told us to bring him here as he was dying.”
Kobold, “YOU WAIT HERE.”

The kobold ran back into the tunnel. It was now flanked by four kobolds brandishing spears and sheilds. Something like five minutes later another kobold came out. This kobold was dressed in leather, decorated in red and black feathers. He wears a helmet made from kobold skull and decorated in the same red and black feathers. Several of his scales are pierced by silver rings, and others are inlay with silver to form draconcic characters. He strode out to the to the same spot as the last kobold and called out to us from.

Chief Sootscale, “I AM CHIEF SOOTSCALE. YOU WANT BRING US FALLEN SOOTSCALE. GOOD. YOU BRING HIM TO US. BUT ONLY ONE OF YOU COME.”
Aramis, “Let us two of us bring him.”
Chief Sootscale, “NO, ONLY ONE. MORE COME AND WE FIGHT.”

Schmidtaki got off his horse and brought the dead kobold to the chief. Two kobolds ran forward to grab and drag off the body. The Chief began to walk back and towards the cave, “You come with me we talk.” Cautiously Schmidtaki walked into the tunnel now filled with kobolds. As he disappeared into the cave the kobolds followed.

Later he relayed what happened to him in the cave. He had to crouch to get into the cave, but it opened up quickly. There were ledges and tunnels all around. The kobolds surrounded him but kept there distance, with the exception of Chief Sootscale. Even at half his height the Chief stood proud and intimidated.

Chief Sootscale, “I am chied Sootscale. What you doing here?”
Schmidtaki, “We are returning your fallen warrior.”
Chief Sootscale, “Why human care?”
Schmidtaki, “Well were good humans and it was his dying request.”
Chief Sootscale, “How sootscale die?”
Schmidtaki, “Bandits, bandits killed him.” At this the kobolds began to mummer loudly amongst each other.
Chief Sootscale, “WHAT! We have truce with Stag Lord. Why bandits break truce.”
Schmidtaki, “We just walked in on them being attacked.”
Chief Sootscale took his time looking Schmidtaki up and down before replying, “Why we trust you? Sootscales don’t know you. Who are you?”
Schmidtaki, “Because were good humans?”
Chief Sootscale smiled widely or at least what passes for a smile with kobolds, “I have idea, you do us favor, you go to Old Sycamore. You go get us Old Sharptooth Statue from the crazy mites under big tree.” Again the crowd began to murmurer.
Schmidtaki, “That’s it? A statue and a handful of those evil smurfs. Sure. No problem. We’ll get it done and if there are any real tasks you need done, you let me know chiefy. I talk to you later.”

Turning to leave, the kobolds blocking his path did not move until their Chief barked out an order in draconic. Schmidtaki returned to us. He told us that there were a lot of kobolds in there and, “So the Chief told us that he doesn’t trust us. But that if we go get his statue from nest of mites then he will. I figure if we get their trust we could pit them against the Stag Lord.” Considering our previous encounters with mites this should be a small errand.

Finding the tree that the Sootscales described was an easy task. Looming over all the hills in the northern Kamelands, a graying hulk of a sycamore tree clings precariously to its last years of life. Well over a 100-foot-tall tree is visible for miles. Standing around a gaping hole at the roots of the tree we could hear terrible giggling coming from inside. Looking at each other one last time we jumped in one by one. We left Geronimo on the surface to guard the horses. The narrow corridors and low ceilings of the lair would prove to be almost as big a hazard as the fey themselves.

In the first room we entered there were three crude, wooden workbenches occupy the center of this room, their tops strewn with various tiny tools, metal and wooden hardware, and blocks of wood. Four mites scurry about the room engaged in a strange competition using a new device they’ve built. Using a miniature catapult rigged out of bones and branches, the two take turns firing caltrops at one anther’s open mouth. This resulted in the room being covered in caltrops.

The mites gleefully attacked us with knives and darts. As we fought them, two of them began to wiggle their fingers, weaving there sinister magic. The vines and roots around Schmidtaki began snag around him and tie up in knots. The other mite caused oil and slime to bubble out of the ground under our feet. In spite of these distractions and the low ceiling that we kept bumping our heads into two we were able to kill two of the blue creatures. The other two escaped into opposite tunnels. Not feeling threatened we split up. Mitchel, Chet, and I headed right, Aramis and Schmidtaki headed left.

Jumping down, I found myself in a egg-shaped cavern, obscured by thick tangles of long, pallid roots. To the east, the chamber opened into a wide, root-filled chasm. A group of six mites are joyously tormenting a captured Sootscale kobold. One of four black-scaled kobolds who have been tied into the roots along the wall. The other three already hang limply by their bonds, dead from the mites’ torment. The last kobold shrieks in pain as the six mites take turns poking it with sharp stick, each shriek eliciting a fresh wave of giggles and cheers from the mites. All the while the mite we chased into this room was trying to get the attention of the others. When I attacked them they slowly began to realize that they were in danger. Again and again I either snagged in my feet and arms on roots in the cavern to the delight of the mites. From behind me I could hear a familiar voice whispering a prayer that ended in loud refrain. The shocking sound stunned many of the mites and the captured kobold slumped limply in the roots that held him. I charged forward to take advantage of the stupefied mites. They quickly came to their senses to retaliate. The ones I faced jabbed at me with tiny daggers while the ones behind them gleefully filled the air with darts. As they began to surround me I could hear the sound of music behind me followed by a loud thud. It was Mitchel.

Mitchel strode forth and fiddled the violin furiously, its crescendo shattered and sliced the flesh of the mites. Again and again he broke that note slicing and killing the unsuspecting mites. Finishing off the tune with a flourish that revive the tortured kobold.

I began to untie the kobold when I heard Arimis screaming from above, “Oh gods! There everywhere. There in my hair! Please its hideous, kill it with fire! Fire please!” It was immediately followed by, “Oh gods! I’m on fire! Why, why!”
I could then hear Shmidtaki yell, “Quick stop, drop, and roll.”
Aramis, “Ouch, ouch! Why am I on fire rolling around in caltrops.”

After releasing the kobold, I crossed a chasm. A deep and ominous chasm splits the passage. The chasm was a few yards wide, and twice as deep, but thick ropes of tangled roots fill the entire area. The passage continued on the far side of the chasm, and between the two ledges, numerous loops were tied into the roots to serve as hand and footholds. As I crossed I noticed that several of the loops were rigged to fall apart and called back to Mitchel, “Watch out some of these hand holds are traps.” Once on the other side I looked back to see Chet and Mitchel scurrying thier big dwarven butts back up towards the others yelling, “We’ll be right back.”

At this point I realized I was alone and turned to see what awaited me. In this room there were rows of wooden pegs lining the earthen walls, some hung with tiny, filthy cloaks. In the center of the room stood a rickety table held together with twine, covered with a filthy red checked tablecloth with two figures sitting at it. On the table was an bloodstained ivory statuette of what looks like a crouching reptilian devil. Sitting at the table was a small man covered in a dark cloak and a dressed in rags. Next to him, a human sized mite with a white beard, white hat, wielding a flaming club. There was one more mite in the room and it was riding what I believed to be a giant tick.

With a wave of his fingers the white bearded mite cause webs to spring up behind me cutting off my escape. The giant tick charged me and latched on to my waist. The rag covered creature and the white bearded mite began to laugh and chuckle as they watched me struggle with the creature. I just barely managed to hold and keep the mandibles from gnawing me to death, but still its rasping tongue drank deeply of my blood. The two figures laughed and laughed as I managed to free my self and I scrambled back wards towards the web. The raged figure raised his hand and suddenly everything went black.

The darkness was absolute and I could feel the insect latch on to me again. The monster drank my blood but again I managed to keep it’s mandibles from inflicting even greater damage. I could feel myself growing cold and weak with blood lose. Then from the table and laughter was I could hear a loud long whistle. From behind me, in the chasm there was a loud chattering and the scuttling of many many legs. As I fought with the giant tick something very large and flaming hot passed by me. I could just barely managed to make out two glowing red eyes and three large flaming interlocking fangs. I could hear the webs burning away behind me. After the large thing passed I managed to break free of the tick and crawl away from the creature. My only hope was to start crossing back across the chasm.

Pale and week I managed to meet back with the little kobold. The small reptile helped me steady myself and we climbed back up the tunnel with the tick following us. Once we arrived at the opening to the surface the kobold took off. I ran to the supply horse and drank a potion of bear’s endurance to regain some of my strength. Geronimo looked at me curiously as I guzzled potion. I then tried to get him to follow me. Tilting his head to one side then the other the cat followed me albeit a bit confused by my flailing hands and unusual calls. I shuddered briefly as I prepared to delve back into the tunnels hoping that Geronimo would join me. The last thing I saw before I jumped was the kobold running off in the distance.

I was immediately confronted by my thirsty tormentor. I prepared myself to attack and Geronimo jumped on top of the giant bug. Between the two of us we were able to kill the bug and its rider, though Geronimo did the lions share of the damage. The beast was finally dead and in a strange twist of fate, it was still my blood that spilled all over the ground. Geronimo and I locked eyes for a moment and nodded at each other with approval.

We both pressed on towards the shouts of friends and gleeful giggles of our enemies. Going through a narrow cavern we enter the room. The floor was wet-looking and crisscrossed by several shallow trenches, each containing trickles of putrid looking fluid. Six foul mounds of compost and dung lie heaped about the room, each studded with small spherical eggs. There were countless broken and burned centipedes strewn about the room and we could hear the sounds of combat coming from the tunnel on the other side of this room.

Rushing forward we made our way through another narrow tunnel into a damp room haphazardly cluttered with broken beds, chairs, wagon wheels, and an assortment of worn, tattered, dingy, and broken objects pilfered or salvaged from big folk. A row of bookcases stands crookedly propped against the far wall, the shelves filled with bits of bone, feathers, and dried centipede legs. Old window frames, cracked and splintered, hang upon the wall like works of fine art. The entire room was covered in small darts, I would soon find out why.

In this room I was reunited with my companions. There were also a dozen or so mites. On the far side of the room I could see a giant centipede at least twenty feet long with three giant flaming mandibles dripping with black venom. Behind him I could see the rage clad figure and the larger mite still laughing hysterically at our misfortune.

The white bearded mite covered us in webs with a wave of his fingers. A moment later he snapped his fingers sending a spark into the center of the web. The webs burst into flames with us in it. This was all to the delight of the other fey. The mites full of mirth attacked in concert. Suddenly the air was filled with darts flying haphazardly in every direction. Between the low ceiling and the tiny size of our targets the mites proved almost impossible to hit. Again and again the air became thick with darts. Eventually the entire room was covered in darts. This fact made sure that the mites were never out of arms reach of another dart.

Slowly almost carefully, the giant centipede made its way through the crowd of mites to join the fray. The centipede lunged forward with its flaming fangs striking Aramis in the chest, leaving three gaping bloody holes. The centipede whipped its long twin tails at Aramis almost tripping him. The pain of the bite nearly dropped Aramis to one knee but he steady himself quickly. Chet and Mitchel managed to heal Aramis as he dueled the giant monstrosity. Aramis could not seem to connect properly with his nemesis. Again and again his rapier glancing off of the centipede’s thick chitinous armor. Schmidtaki took this moment to jeer him, “3, 4, 5. Are you planing to hit that thing some time today?”

Aramis was struck again by the giant centipede and its flaming mandibles sizzled, extinguishing themselves in his flesh. Even more darts filled the air and the mites cried out, “La la la la-la la. Happy things will come to you. La la la la-la la. Smurf the day away!” Then Geronimo charged into the rescue. With Chet and Mitchel’s healing abilities nearly exhausted Aramis slowly began to retreat. Fighting his way back a bit, he drank a healing potion and we all made our way back out of the room. But not Geronimo. Geronimo flew into a furry and would not retreat. We could hear the sounds of the terrible centipede and the tiger battling.

The centipede slashed and tore into the great cat and the cat returned the favor. The darts rained down in all directions accompanied by the laughter of the mites. Geronimo deftly avoiding the missiles and bit of the giant insect. Then finally an errant dart landed in Geronimo’s meaty flank and he finally collapsed under his wounds. The last one of us to leave the chamber was Mitchel who let out a cry of sadness at the sight of his friend falling. But he would not let this be the end. Playing his piccolo one last time before leaving the room the great cat was granted a second wind.

Back in the room with the egg piles the remaining mites had doubled back on us. Here we had a better time of fighting them as we could get on either side of them to flank. Below we could hear the mighty mountain lion and the centipede’s battle rage on. Schmidtaki and Aramis tore the tiny creatures apart. Clearing the room we took positions to attempt to ambush anything that came from the direction of the centipede. Then the battered Geronimo clambered out of the small tunnel closely followed by the centipede. All together we pounced on the monster. The centipede shuttered under our assault and let out a terrible roar that shook the cave, nearly collapsing it as it died.

The body of the beast clogged the tunnel and we all together grabbed its legs to pull it through. We charged back into the cave that we were chased out of a moment ago. With their insect champions destroyed and their number reduced we pressed through the mite ranks. Forcing our way towards the white bearded mite and the ragged dark figure. The dark rag covered figure finally unsheathed a blade was smeared with thick black poison and attacked. Aramis and Schmidtaki dualed the two. Before we knew it the rag covered figure was impaled on Aramis’ blade and it burst into flames and light. The sudden light blinded the white bearded who swung furiously with his macabre faced flaming club. Together Aramis and Schmidtaki killed the mite leader. Suddenly the laughter that had permeated this entire battle stopped. The mite leader collapsed and then began to shrink back down to regular size as the rest of the mites looked on. The mite leader let out a final sigh and the rest of the mites ran out of the cave screaming and sobbing.

The tunnels were silent except for the sound of us all gasping for breath. Eventually we all broke into laughter because we survived the terrible encounter. We sorely underestimated these tiny fey and their vermin champions. Searching the cave we found a bag of treasure underneath the ragged table and the armor and weapons of the mites. Mitchel gathered up every dart he could find, they were everywhere. We found the statue that the kobolds were looking for. It was a blood stained ivory statuette depicts a crouching horned devil, of fine craftsmanship but not magical in the slightest.

When we emerged from the tunnel Schmidtaki pulled out a crude map written in the mites strange language. He was not able to properly read the language but pieced together that there were two columns on the map. One labeled “Us” and one labeled “Them.” The “Us” column lists only two things: “kobold statue” and “lots of spears and coins.” The “Them” column lists “magic dust,” “lots of coins” and “shiny human ring".

Schmidtaki, “Shiny human ring, could that be the wedding ring were looking for?”
To which I replied, “Lets get this damn statue back to the Sootscales. We can ask them. And once we get back to Oleg’s I am buying as much lamp oil from him as I can. Barrels if he’s got it. We are coming back and burning this disgusting tree to the ground.” Everyone agree that this was a good idea. It wasn’t even noon and the Sootscales were only an hour or so away so we set off.

We approached the Sootscale cave and again we were greeted by kobolds watching us from afar while darting between mounds of snow covered dirt. As we got nearer one kobold ran towards us waving his arms and yelling, “Hey, hey!” The little kobold walked next to my horse as, he was the one that I untied in the mite cave.

“Hi, I Mikmek. You humans that rescue me!”
I replied, “Yes, We did and now were on our way to return the statue. Then later were gonna burn that damn tree to the ground.”
Mikmek squealed in delight, “Ya, stupid mite. Burning them is good. So you get statue?”
“Yup.”
“So you return statue to Chief Sootscale or Turtuk?”
I said, “Well since I never heard of this Turtuk character, I am thinking we’ll end up returning it to the Chief.”
Mikmek cheered “Death to Tartuk!” before clapping his hands over his snout. “I go get Da Chief.” He then ran towards the cave opening.

The Chief emerged after a few minutes. As he got closer Schmidtaki unceremoniously tossed the statue to Chief Sootscale.
“So Chief, lets talk reward.”
“Yes reward, you are now friends to the Sootscales. You come with me, your horses will be taken care of.”
Aramis, “Well thats more like it.”

Chief Sootscale barked out orders in draconic and the kobolds guarding the entrance put their shields and spears down to take care of our horses. As we entered the cave Chief Sootscale held the ivory statue high above his head. Walking through the narrow tunnels the kobolds looked on at the Chief and the statue with fear and dread. Several of the kobolds scurried off at the sight of it.

Our procession stopped at an larger cave. The walls of this cavern were decorated by a rickety wooden frame formed from clean-cut branches lashed together with gut and twine. Banners cut from two-foot-wide strips of old blankets and horse hides hung from floor to ceiling, covering much of the walls. The sloppily painted banners bear dozens of primitive icons and mystic symbols. A large cauldron filled with bubbling red liquid boils in the center of the room. A purple skinned kobold stirred the cauldron. Decorated in green and black feathers, necklaces, and fetish. At his side, a wicked looking sickle with a lizards skull as its hilt. The blade protrudes from the skull like a tongue. He was flanked by a handful of kobold guards.

Mitchel, “This place could really use a plant…”
Turtuk, “So you have brought Old Sharptooth back to me.”
Chief Sootscale, “No, Humans bring it. These good humans.”
Turtuk, “You dared to let their soft, scaleless fingers defile Old Sharptooth. This will not please Old Sharptooth. This will not help lift the curse on our tribe.”
Chief Sootscale, “No, not your tribe. My tribe. I have Old Sharptooth now. I AM CHIEF SOOTSCALE. I LIFT CURSE AND FREE TRIBE FROM YOU!”

At this moment Chief Sootscale smashed the statue in the center of the room and charged at the purple kobold. The Chief dashed to the side of the medicine man and viciously bashed in his head with an ornate bone club. Aramis always ready for a fight charged forward. As he did the ground under the broken statue rippled, distorted, and stretched downward forming a square pit. Aramis was just barely able to stop himself from falling in. He then turned to face Turtuk’s guards. As these events unfolded I for some reason I was staring at the floor.

I was brought to my sense by Mitchel, of all people, barking orders. “Rainfall! Rainfall!!! Stop looking at those socks!! I know they were on sale and they fit you just fine but they’re just socks!! The giant army devil demon summoned from the fiery pits of hell commanded by the worst of of devilkin and all that we hold unholy to us is emerging from the cauldron in religious fashion and you’re just staring at your socks! Oh and if any one needs this flaming club just grab it from me!”

Mitchel continued, “Watch out for that pit. This pit is decidedly square in shape, I do not believe this is natural. Unless that is a pit made of antimatter cubic crystalline lattice material… or whatever.” I have no idea what I he meant by this.

Schmidtaki let out a frustrated sigh before joining the fray. Ducking back briefly to make it seem that he hand left the battle and he reemerge to let loose an arrow at the Turtuk. Chet grabbed onto the macabre flaming club and the two of them briefly fought over it. He then attacked one of guards. Moments later the sand and dirt around the pit began to churn and move as if caught in fierce winds. The bubbling cauldron split over and its liquid burst into flames burning the kobold guards and Schmidtaki. The dirt piled up around all combatants, friend and foe, impeding our movement. To my suprise the guards even attacked Chief Sootscale, these must have been Turtuks personal guards.

Chief Sootscale continued to battle Turtuk who was being pushed back a narrow tunnel. The Chief landed another vicious blow and Turtuk collaped. As we continued to whittled away at Turtuks guards, Chief Sootscale stood over the fallen Turtuk and killed him with a final blow. Turning around to face the swirling sand and the mysterious pit Chief Sootscale cried out to his tribe.

“I AM CHIEF SOOTSCALE! TODAY I BREAK CURSE! I BREAK OLD SHARPTOOTH! SOOTSCALES FREE!”

The remaining guards fled or dropped to their knees to beg for mercy. A few moments later winds and sand died down, the distorted terrain shifted and bended back into its normal form.

Chief Sootscale, “No mercy for kobolds that betray tribe to Turtuk.” He walked up next to Aramis and killed one of the kobolds kneeling in front of him.
Aramis joined him and killed the kobold next to that one, “What the hell is wrong with me today. All this fighting and I only killed one thing and only because it knelt down in front of me!”
Schmidtaki, “Ok seriously Chief Sootscale, I believe there was talk of reward. I mean this has been one hell of a day.”

Chief Sootscale pointed to the corner of the room piled up with various treasures, “There. Turtuk made us pile up all treasure. Offering or else curse get worse. You take what ever you want from there but you leave us silver. Silver is metal of Sootscales.” He pointed proudly to the scales on his shoulder that were inlayed with silver. He then left the room.

In the pile of treasure we found a great meany copper, silver, and gold pieces. There were even a few platinum pieces. A pair of find boot, flaming crossbow bolts, and a soiled bag. Mitchel was immediately drawn to the soiled bag. He dumped out the sack into the pile of treasure and carefully looked over the bag. A plain brass ring set with a single pearl fell out and rolled across the floor. Exactly as Svetlana described her stolen wedding ring. On Turtuk’s limp corpse we found two wands, the cold iron sickle, magical bracers, and a book written in a strange language. We looted the room but left the silver as instructed. After we were done Chief Sootscale returned. (Oh and we totally made level 4, DING!)

Chief Sootscale, “I have to restore order. Have to make law in tribe. You are my friend now. All of you help Sootscales very much.”
Schmidtaki, " Alright Chiefy we gotta have ourselves a little talk. We got you your statue, now you may not be much of an art lover but we brought it."
Chief Sootscale, “Um, ok.”
Schmidtaki, " We even helped you get a hold of your tribe and kill this Turtuk character that has been giving you all sorts of problems… apparently."
Chief Sootscale, “Yes! You good humans friends now.”
Schmidtaki, “Ya so these attacks on caravans have to stop. You guys want to attack the bandits thats fine. Remember that the Stag Lord broke your truce. Well we want that truce.”
Chief Sootscale, “Ok… yes. Turtuk make us attack caravans and traders.”
Schmidtaki, “Good, well then I will draw us up a treaty.”
Aramis, “Yes and as leader of this group, I umm, well, approve. Yes it meets with my approval, carry on.”
Chief Sootscale, “If you want us attack bandits, maybe you take off stag necklaces. So kobold no mistake you.”

Using our map making kit Schmidtaki was able to draw up a fairly official looking treaty in the same style as our charters. Chief Sootscale signed by dipping his entire hand in ink and pressing it to the paper as his signature. With the treaty signed Schmidtaki quickly switched his diplomat hat for his quartermaster hat and began sniffing out the next sweet deal.

Schmidtaki, “Well now that that’s all done, maybe we could do a little trading.”
Chief Sootscale, “Ok. What do you want.”
Schmitdtaki, “Well first off I would like to offer you these shields and spears as an offering of good will.”
Aramis, “Good will, what the hell are you talking about. Seriously I can’t believe you.”
Schmitdtaki, “So next we would like to get some prices for silver weapons.”
Aramis, “Wait, why are we leaving the silver again? Can someone explain this to me?”
Chief Sootscale, “Ok. we talk with smiths. You show us what weapons you want.”
Aramis, “I still can’t believe you gave away those things. If we sold them, that’s like half the price of a new outfit.”
Schmitdtaki, “I appreciate you trying to impress me, Aramis, but I am just not that way.”
Aramis, “What about silver sheen, do you have any of that?”
Chief Sootscale, "No, don’t know what that is?
Aramis, “It’s magical!”
Chief Sootscale, “Ya, no we no have that.”
Schmitdtaki, “I mean I know I ‘approach from behind’ and all, but I am just not into that sort of thing.”

Things continued like this for a while, eventually we had gotten prices for versions of all of our weapons but did not buy any. The sootscales have an interesting habit of making all trades and negotiations in silver pieces.

Not a bad day considering it was only just after noon. We were weary from all of the fighting so we decided to head back to Oleg’s for the day.

As the sun began to set we could make out smoke on the horizon. A lot of smoke, too much smoke. Something was wrong. Now with a sense of urgency we raced towards the trading post. We passed by the sign post that I had hung the bandit’s skulls from and a copy of our charter from. It had been burned down and the skulls taken. As Oleg’s began to come into view we could see the extent of the damage became clear.

The main gate had not been breached but they were severely scorched. Kesten Garess let us in, he like all of the inhabitants was covered in soot. All of the buildings had sustained some sort of damage and barn had burned down completely. Two of the guards had died in the attack. Flaming arrows were used to try and set fire to the trading post. Kesten told us the Stag Lord himself made an appearance. “It was the Stag Lord that killed the two guards.”

Chet immediately flew into an over dramatic rage, " Jhod, they were in you hands. They counted on you!"
Aramis followed suit, “Little disappointed Chode.”
Jhod, “It’s Jhod.”
Aramis, “Sorry, Chode, its my accent.”

Eventually Bokken stumbled out of the sleeping quarters, “They burned everything down, my shop.” The strange man was even stranger in the wake of the destruction of his potion shop. The bandits let him live because he never resisted giving tribute. He told us that they burned his shop because his potions helped use.

The trading post was over come with a sense of dread and foreboding. The sun setting and all of use exhausted from either battling mites, kobolds, or fire. It was at this moment when everyone was at their lowest Schmidtaki did something incredible. He walked up to Svetlana and wordlessly held out a ring. She broke down in tears and everyone looked on. She put the ring on and while crying tears of joy hugged Schmidtaki. This heartfelt moment struck a deep cord with everyone, lifting our spirits.

Despite Schmidtaki’s previous sexual overtures towards Svetlana he totally didn’t make the hug creepy, at first. While holding each other Schmidtaki whispering, in his most comforting voice, “who’s your daddy? who’s your daddy?”

After we had all recovered from this emotional event, we sat down to a dinner of bread and stew. The day was not over yet. Mitchel had a final announcement that he gave while doling out pints of watery beer. “Geronimo II, in the past weeks he has fought bravely for us. Just today he risked life and limb to save us. In honor of his selflessness and I have decided to release him back into the wild where he can spend his days ranting about how much he hates Maltese men and how he wants to eat Goosio.” The rest of the meal we spent feeding the great cat, petting him, and singing his praises.

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